Attn, DC Reasonoids: Attend "How to Make Cuba More Free," Featuring Rep. Jeff Flake, Wed., March 12

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Please Attend "How to Make Cuba More Free," Wednesday, March 12, 6.30PM- 8.30PM at Reason's DC HQ!

As one Castro brother grimly replaces another in Cuba, Reason invites you to contemplate one way to immediately make that island prison a little bit less hellish: Lift the ban on American citizens traveling and doing business there.

On Wednesday, March 12, from 6.30PM to 8.30PM, join Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), co-sponsor of legislation to repeal the travel and trade bans, for an evening of conversation about U.S. policy toward Cuba. "The reign of Fidel Castro marked a brutal and dictatorial chapter for the Cuban people," says Flake. "Let's hope that his resignation opens a new chapter. Whether that new chapter will be open, however, largely depends on a new approach to Cuba by the U.S. Government. The U.S. embargo gave Fidel a tremendous advantage in terms of lengthening his tenure. Let's not give his successor the same advantage by keeping the embargo in place."

Soft and hard beverages (including Cuba Libres) and light fare will be served.

For Reason coverage of Cuba, go here.

For Rep. Flake's statement on Fidel Castro's resignation—and the failure of U.S. policy—go here.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, March 12, 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Reason's DC HQ, 1747 Connecticut Avenue NW (three blocks north of Dupont Circle, near S Street; look for the "Free Minds and Free Markets" spotlight).

This event is free but RSVPs are required to attend. Please send them to events@reason.com or 310.391.2245.

NEXT: Taste the Rainbow

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  1. I totally reject your garbage that Cuba is:

    1) An island prison
    2) A hell
    3) Not free

    Those are things that George W. Bush and the promoters of “lets repeat a lie thousands of times until enough dumb sheep believe it as truth” constantly parrot.

    It is in the United States Guantanamo base “free and democratic paradise” where people are routinely tortured in the name of the war on terror.

    It is in the United States were we are instituting a hell where our constitution is systematically violated by a decider in chief who effectively tells us: I am above the law! I can violate our constitution with impunity, and ignore and not enforce new laws passed by Congress, by merely issuing a divinely inspired signing statement.

    The only freedom that we enjoy today is the freedom given to corporate elites to impose a fascist system on unsuspecting Americans who clamor: Give me ‘American Idol or give me death.’

    Of course you do not like the freedom that Cubans achieved on January 1st, 1959. American imperialists and the American mafia were kicked out of the island.

  2. Mr. Gonzalez, you have to be one of the denser posters I’ve seen around here.

    On your site, you advocate for lifting the embargo. reason is a fairly prominent advocate for this policy, but you decide to fling about sophomoric socialistic platitudes and name-calling instead of realizing tat you’re attacking an ally.

    Secondly, do you see any deeper irony than claiming that America is less free than Cuba while simultaneously using a Blogspot Account (Google, CA) and living in Florida? Do you think you’d get away with your crappy, childish rhetoric in Cuba under the bloody fist of the Castros?

    Of course you do not like the freedom that Cubans achieved on January 1st, 1959.

    Yeah, it’s so free there that you’ve chosen to live in Florida. I doubt you’ll be rowing back any time soon. Tell you what: put your freedom where your mouth is and apply for political asylum in Cuba from America the Prison State…that ought to be good for a laugh.

  3. Say there, “Cuba Journal”… When’s the last time someone died at sea trying to flee the USA for Cuba a tiny boat?

    -jcr

  4. BTW, I remember a story I heard from a friend of my father’s about visiting the Soviet Union, doing the standard “intourist” guided tour back in the Brezhnev era. On the last day before the tour group was scheduled to leave, they got everybody together in a room for their KGB tour guide to give them a harangue about the terrible privations of capitalism. This guy stood up and said “nobody shoots you for trying to leave.”

    The apparatchik didn’t have an answer for that.

    -jcr

  5. Maybe Reason could do us all a favor and go on one of their tours. The only downside is I don’t know if they make pleather jackets in the right color.

  6. Cuba Journal

    Outstanding angry rant. Too bad that
    internet sites with music = fail

  7. I’d be all for Bay of Pigs II (only this time without JFK chickening out), but it’s probably not necessary. If the rumors of Raul following the China model, the Cuban regime’s days are numbered.

    Milton Friedman’s argument that economic freedom will inevitably lead to political freedom has worked pretty well the last half-century.

    As soon as most Cubans have cell phones, they’re one flash mob away from freedom.

  8. Wow, I didn’t realize Fidel was healthy enough to post at Reason.

  9. I’d be all for Bay of Pigs II

    Of course you would.

    You wouldn’t be the one having to kill others for your “vision”.

    There’s no shortage of hypocrisy when a so-called “conservative” advocates top-down, big government solutions for National Glory?.

  10. Cuba Journal | March 9, 2008, 10:53pm | #

    I totally reject your garbage that Cuba is:

    1) An island prison
    2) A hell
    3) Not free

    Good heavens! A COMMUNIST TRUE BELIEVER!

    Haven’t seen one of those up close since the Cultural Revolution.

    I’d thought Michael Moore was the last of the species.

  11. Aresen – too many people attend his movies for the entire audience to be looking for ironic entertainment.

  12. Alright, why are the google ads at H&R for sites regarding reporting clergy sex abuse?

  13. You wouldn’t be the one having to kill others for your “vision”.

    And you don’t have to live under Castro. That said, if they’re taking private militias I’d be there, though again it’s probably unnecessary.

    There’s no shortage of hypocrisy when a so-called “conservative” advocates top-down, big government solutions for National Glory?.

    Well, I’m more of a libertarian than a conservative. Frankly, I don’t care who liberates Cuba, or about “national glory.” It’s the 11 million Cubans living under Communist dictatorship that concern me.

  14. Frankly, I don’t care who liberates Cuba, or about “national glory.”

    Except you said you wouldn’t mind a “Bay of Pigs II”, which would necessitate involvement from our Government.

  15. I totally reject your garbage that Cuba is:

    1) An island prison
    2) A hell
    3) Not free

    Yet I noticed you remain domiciled in Fla.

    Tall Dave, I forgot about JFK leaving all those Cubans sitting on the beach with nothing but their…………(think: if Fat Clemenza hadn’t taped the gun for Michael behind the toilet tank).

  16. BTW, I remember a story I heard from a friend of my father’s about visiting the Soviet Union, doing the standard “intourist” guided tour back in the Brezhnev era. On the last day before the tour group was scheduled to leave, they got everybody together in a room for their KGB tour guide to give them a harangue about the terrible privations of capitalism. This guy stood up and said “nobody shoots you for trying to leave.”

    The apparatchik didn’t have an answer for that.

    On the same subject, I remember a story told by Natan Sharansky in which he and his friends, as youths in the Soviet Union, would often read Communist propaganda magazines from Britain, as it was one of the few international magazines the Communist government let into the Soviet Union.

    Sharansky and his friends soon realized that these magazines were precious. Not because of the Communist propaganda they spewed, but because they knew Britain had freedom, and they were shocked that a government would let a magazine which criticized the government be printed. If people out there were allowed to criticize their own government, Sharansky thought that there must be hope.

  17. As an addendum, I fail to see how the Cuban people’s lives have been enriched in the last half century.

  18. American imperialists and the American mafia were kicked out of the island.

    The big difference between Meyer Lansky and Fidel is Lansky only got an honest cut for running honest casinos where the exceptionally middle class Cubans (better off than most of Europe) enjoyed an urbane life style whereas Fidel is worth around a billion made purely through the extortion of being the big fat ass on top of the government heap. Of course, he is not so fat now, frail and phlegmy looking is more like it. Hey, Cuba Journal, do you ever wonder why Fidel betrayed Ernesto in the first place?

  19. In a just world, Fidel Castro would be executed by choking on a cigar stuffed down his gullet in the middle of one of his long-winded speeches.

    -jcr

  20. I can’t help but be malicious when Communist are involved, but just so you know I’m not just screwing with you. When the services of assassins are employed, tokens from the target are often necessary to prove that the deed was executed. Photographs don’t really prove much, even when they are not tampered with the scene can be staged, so tokens like hands and heads are used to provide proof of a kill. As Fidel showed 60 Minutes some years ago, he proudly has those hands of Ernesto in his possession which the Bolivian army sent him as proof the kill. What they got in return is anyone’s guess.

  21. And in the end the vicious become the infirm.How exquisitely egalitarian.

  22. Cuba Journal –

    Since you brought up Guantanamo, are you familiar with the mine field that surrounds the base?

    The mines aren’t there to keep people in… the Cuban regime placed them there to keep the people in and enjoying the fruitful freedoms of apartheid.

  23. Will you be playing Jay Chevalier’s “The Castro Rock”?

    WFMU did:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/nyregion/24towns.html

  24. At this point the enbargo has become pretty pointless. At the same time, however, I think you are kidding yourself if you think that ending the embargo is going to make Cuba more free. First, Cuba is not 1970s China cut off from the outside world. Plenty of free countries in Europe trade with Cuba. It is not like the Cuban people are not exposed to outside influences. Second, the US trades with countries like China, Zimbabwe, Venezuala, Russia, Belarussia, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, and any number of other tinpot dictatorships. Has trading with them made any of those countries more free? In many cases it may have made them less free by allowing the governments to have the wealth necessary to stay in power. Sadly, I am not sure Cuba will ever be free.

  25. I hadn’t heard that Fidel was suspected of having a hand in killing Che. I did know that he was suspected in having a hand in killing Camilo Cienfuegos.

  26. American imperialists and the American mafia were kicked out of the island.

    And Russian imperialists and a Cuban kleptocracy was installed in their place. Net benefit to Cubans? I doubt it.

  27. Its worth pointing out the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe traded with the west during the Cold War. There was no embargo on them, and that didn’t stop them from having shitty economies.

  28. FWIW, “Cuba Journal”, you’ll find precious few authors for Reason or posters on this blog that support-

    1)Bush

    2)The Patriot Act

    3) Violations of civil liberties.

    So fuck off and take it to Red State where there are people who actually hold those views. We’re not the neocon strawmen you’re looking for.

  29. At the same time, however, I think you are kidding yourself if you think that ending the embargo is going to make Cuba more free.

    It won’t make Cubans any more free.

    However, Cuba is one of those rare places where labor unions are against the law, workers make $500 a year, and where anyone who complains about job conditions goes to jail, and yet the left won’t scream about the sweatshops because the Cubans have big murals of Che Guavara and that looks all revolutionary and cool.

    A lot of European and Canadian corporations are getting very rich exploiting the near-slave-labor, and without any of the negative publicity you normally get for using slaves.

    It is only fair that America gets its share of that slave labor… and at the same time score a few points for being “progressive” for doing buisness in Cuba. It is a win/win situation.

    Cubans won’t be free, but we will be getting commodities and labor for just-a splash-above-free.

  30. I’d take a Bay of Pigs II, too, if I could just privately organize and equip a fighting force and launch it without getting arrested by the US of A.

  31. “Cubans won’t be free, but we will be getting commodities and labor for just-a splash-above-free.”

    The best way in the world to exploit workers is to do business with the commies.

    -jcr

  32. “The reign of Fidel Castro marked a brutal and dictatorial chapter for the Cuban people,” says Flake.”The reign of Fidel Castro marked a brutal and dictatorial chapter for the Cuban people,” says Flake.

    Absolutely true, but also true of every other chapter of Cuban history.

  33. Absolutely true, but also true of every other chapter of Cuban history.

    Not quite.

  34. Absolutely true, but also true of every other chapter of Cuban history.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Batista was better than Castro Clan.

  35. The best way in the world to exploit workers is to do business with the commies.

    Think of it as outsourcing your worker exploitation to overseas experts.

  36. One side benefit of free trade with Cuba: maybe the Castro brothers could see about ordering up some snappier military outfits for themselves. Jeezus, it looks like they’re wearing leisure suits with a little military frou-frou tacked on. Today’s smart generalissimo clearly should be better dressed.

  37. Apropos of nothing . . .

    I knew this guy who admired the *young* Che Guevara, but was sad that Guevara grew up to be an oppressive Commie apparatchik. The guys parents were Cuban refugees.

  38. MM

    Actually, Guevara had embraced the Trotskyite notion of “Permanent Revolution”, which the apparatchiks definitely did not like. So Fidel sent Guevara out to foment revolution elsewhere and “die gloriously in the cause of socialism.”

    Fidel got rid of a problem and gained a (conveniently) dead hero.

  39. Do you think we should catch Cuba Journal and put him in a zoo for endangered species? (I mean after he finishes his service as a superdelegate.)

    The Venezuelan Student Movement for Liberty
    POLICY FORUM
    Wednesday, March 12, 2008
    12:00 PM (Luncheon to Follow)

    Featuring: Yon Goicoechea, Former General Secretary, Venezuelan Student Parliament; Gustavo Tovar, Author, Estudiantes por la libertad (Students for Liberty) (Caracas: El Nacional, 2007); and Gerver Torres, Senior Scientist, Gallup. Moderated by Ian V?squez, Cato Institute

    The Cato Institute
    1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20001

    Watch the Event Live in RealVideo
    Listen to the Event in RealAudio (Audio Only)

    On December 2, 2007, Venezuelans rejected through a referendum constitutional changes proposed by President Hugo Ch?vez that would have turned their country into a socialist state. The Venezuelan student movement played the key role in that outcome. Student leader Yon Goicoechea will explain how and why students from public and private universities from across the country came together in defense of basic liberties. Author and human rights activist Gustavo Tovar will describe how the movement’s philosophy of nonviolence helped to forge an effective opposition. Gerver Torres will discuss the significant impact of the “No” vote on public opinion and politics in Venezuela and throughout Latin America. All three speakers will discuss the future of the student movement and of Venezuelan politics.

    Registration for events at the Cato Institute closes 24 business hours prior to an event; however, seating is still available. If you would like to attend this event, please feel free to register on-site. Thank you.

  40. One side benefit of free trade with Cuba: maybe the Castro brothers could see about ordering up some snappier military outfits for themselves.

    No one is stopping them from going to Milan right now and getting the latest in Italian fashion.

  41. “No one is stopping them from going to Milan right now and getting the latest in Italian fashion.” ( RC Dean)

    Yes! Just like everyone in Chavez’ cabinet does! They should follow their example.

  42. I would really really love to read/hear waht happens if this lady Julia E. Sweig comes to this conference. She is the CFR expert on Cuba and she ahs written several articles advocating the ending of the trade embargoe. I bought her books and cotnacted her office last year asking why she thinks all the CFR candidates seemed to take the OPPOSITE position as her. She had no good answer.

    Obviously the CFR leadership guys like Richard HAAS do NOT agree with her. If she really cares about this issue she should attend this event.

    Julia E. Sweig info:

    Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director for Latin America Studies

    Award-winning author of Inside the Cuban Revolution and director of numerous Council-sponsored Task Forces on Latin America. Her book Friendly Fire: Losing Friends and Making Enemies in the Anti-American Century was released in April 2006.

    Phone: +1-202-518-3410
    Email: jsweig@cfr.org

  43. And if Reason has any real interest in opening up free trade with Cuba it would help to figure out what can be done to get the Council On Foreign Relations folks to help…unless you just think the CFR has an agenda that includes screwing the America middle class as much as possible.

    No matter what you think about CFR’s goals/motives…it certainly does have an influence of foreign policy in this country. To ignore that just makes you look frivolous.

  44. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=516024&cc=5901

    It’s a sad state of affairs when playing pro soccer in the US is considered a good career move.

  45. any reprots on what happened at teh event…any talk of collaborating with CFR or do all of you refuse to admit its existence?

  46. “It’s a sad state of affairs when playing pro soccer in the US is considered a good career move.”

    HTML Illiterate beat me to it.

    It seems 7 Cuban soccer players decided to defect and stay in Tampa. Now there are not enough men remaining on the Cuban soccer team and they will have to forfeit.

    Good for them. 🙂

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